Should have kept Conan and gave him a chance to find his groove like they did Jay. Jay got 2 years of getting butt kicked by Letterman before he found his way. Karma's a bitch as they say. How much lower will the ratings get once Conan's show on TBS appears?
I see no reason to assume that this is backlash. The typical American viewer is not so petty.
The answer may be simply that people don't care to watch Leno, or O'Brien, or perhaps anyone, anymore. Leno's ratings were declining before; there is no reason to think that they wouldn't continue to decline, and television ratings overall are on the decline, as folks find alternative distractions, such as the Internet.
I think it has to do more with people just aren't as interested as they used to be in Leno because 1) He seems a bit more rude now, at least to me and 2) T.V. just isn't being watched as much as it used to.
... and we really don't know what will happen tomorrow. Viewers can be fickle. For me, though, I lost respect for the man and I just won't watch. I think some folks just figure they'll watch Letterman or go to bed early.
Another thing, and not trying to make Leno fans upset, but he really wasn't/isn't that funny to me. The only time I really laughed was when he did his Michael Jackson spoof. I am a huge MJ fan and thought it was pretty funny and didn't get offended, but other than that....bleh...
ah, so he is reaping what he hath sown. I don't understand why NBC wouldn't have expected this after such a tearful conan goodbye. I don't watch much late night but I always prefered watching conan to leno.
I definitely feel that there has been some Anti-Leno backlash, and it'd be foolish to understate the effect that it may be having on Jay's ratings. HOWEVER, it would be equally foolish to conclude that it is the only reason for the ratings decline, and that clearly is not the case, since I think it could be a combination of any number of different factors.
Also, does anyone know what Letterman's ratings have looked like lately? I would be curious to hear if he's been getting any kind of significant boost during Leno's recent ratings decline.
Another thing that I think could be factoring into Leno's decline is how he's been jerked around between 2 different shows with different schedules over the past year. Maybe some people just don't care about the Tonight Show as much anymore, but who knows?